Royals prospect Seuly Matias is leading all minor leaguers in home runs, so perhaps it was no surprise that he went deep during Sunday’s Futures Game in Washington.
While Matias, who is at Class A Lexington, was thrilled by some of the people he encountered off the field, it’s what he did on the field that wowed people watching the game.
In the second inning, Matias launched an opposite-field home run against Yankees prospect Justus Sheffield, a left-hander who has a 2.53 ERA in 10 starts at Class AAA. Sheffield has allowed just two homers in 57 innings.
But Matias went deep and earned praise from Baseball America, which handed out superlatives from the game. Ben Badler said Matias had the best opposite-field power.
“(I)n his first plate appearance, Matias got a 94 mph fastball on the outside corner from Yankees left-hander Justus Sheffield that he drove over the right-field fence, an impressive display of hitting by going with where the ball was pitched (and doing it against a Triple-A pitcher), as well as an incredible demonstration of strength to go deep the opposite way,” Ben Badler wrote. “Matias has a fairly simple, efficient swing, but it’s his pitch recognition and strike-zone discipline that get him into trouble, with a .213/.293/.549 slash line this season. There’s still a lot of risk in his skill set, but if everything clicks, the power potential is frightening.”
Here is the home run by Matias: